Imola (dpa) – For Lewis Hamilton, the debate about a possible salary cap for Formula 1 drivers has no bearing on his contract negotiations with Mercedes.
“That has nothing to do with it. I didn’t even know it was being discussed,” said the world champion before the Grand Prix in Imola. The 35-year-old’s contract with the automaker’s factory team expires at the end of the year. Both parties only want to talk about a new contract after the title decision. World Cup leader Hamilton could become champion again in Turkey in two weeks.
At the beginning of the week, the leaders of Formula 1 negotiated a limit on driver compensation from 2023. We are talking about a maximum amount of about 25 million euros for both drivers together. “It’s an emotional thing,” said Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff. Formula 1 teams should operate profitably in the long term, but at the same time drivers, like other sports stars, should be able to collect top salaries.
Superstar Hamilton is considered the highest paid driver in the current field. Plans for a wage limit should be discussed with the driver’s union GPDA, the Briton warned. However, it is unclear whether Hamilton will still be in the cockpit until 2023. Most recently, he announced that it would “not be long” for the end of his career.
Team boss Wolff offered the prospect of an amicable solution to the contract negotiations. “There is a lot of trust between us,” said the Austrian. For the purposes of compensation, the team will continue to “appreciate” Hamilton’s contribution to Mercedes’ success and Formula 1’s global profile.